Zingst, the “Little Palace Sundische Wiese” (Stralsund Meadow)

The Sundische Wiese or Wische, also called “near the houses” into the 19th century, is a very old property of the city of Stralsund, acquired even before 1290.




Other sources report that the City of Stralsund was given this “grassy plain” by the Hiddensee Monastery.  In any case it must have been a long time before people settled here, although by 1660 a few families had already taken up residence.

 

Life was lonely here, and only with difficulty could the barest necessities of existence be coaxed from the barren earth.  The Swedish registry map of 1696 (the Swedish land survey of Western Pomerania) speaks of “stiff grass and reeds,” of “boggy meadows full of waterholes.”  Owners and lessees of the farms changed often, for people didn’t stay long in this inhospitable area.

 

In 1902 the city of Stralsund sold the island landscape to Baron von Klot-Trautvetter, who wished to fulfill his dream of a noble seat on the sea.  But two years later on the night of New Year’s Day 1903/1904 he stole away from his hunting lodge on the Stralsund Meadow during a strong storm.  Afterward the Prussian Count von Eulenburg acquired the land on speculation for a ferry project.  His hopes for an island cutoff near the Straminke lagoon bordering the Stralsund Meadow were not fulfilled.  He was forced to sell after the First World War to the Berlin newspaper magnate Rudolf Mosse.  Mosse also failed in his plans to establish nettle plantations here for the production of paper, since the shade-loving nettle does not thrive on the shadeless local flatland. 

 

It was quiet on the Stralsund Meadow until major shareholder Hugo Stinnes, an industrialist from the Ruhr, acquired it in order to reap enormous profits from an unprecedented overexploitation of the forest.  Only around the former manor house did a couple of trees remain.  The plundered land was quickly sold.  It seemed as if this fleck of earth was destined to remain an eternal object of speculation.  The owners changed as often as the lessees, so that in 1923 a dispossession was carried out in favor of the Settlers’ Association Neuland AG Berlin, which with the aid of the Weimar government’s expansion program was building new farmsteads on the empty land of Western Pomerania.  Land improvement was begun and pumping stations appeared.  Finally it looked as if future generations would gain a foothold on the Stralsund Meadow.

 

Then in 1937 came the order for complete clearance.  The fascist air force needed a bombing range.  Thus the Stralsund Meadow was depopulated and the abandoned farms served as bombing targets.  After war’s end farmers slowly returned and worked the deserted land so eagerly that in 1964 the Zingst-Darß State Farm was founded.  The “little palace” was at this time a beloved vacation resort for children.  Here many children fulfilled their dream of a vacation by the Baltic Sea. 

 

But another dream also became reality: the reunification of the two Germanys in 1989.  The Stralsund Meadow was absorbed into the Western Pomerania Salt Meadow Landscape National Park.  The unique unspoiled landscape can now recover from the pressures that humans once subjected it to and can become an untouched refuge for the plants and animals living there. 

 

Since July 17, 1994 the “little palace” has once more greeted guests and excursionists, for the Kiel businessman Hans-Hermann Johnson has made the dream of a little palace by the sea a reality once more.  A charming hotel with a very good kitchen has emerged on the Stralsund Meadow.  Nature lovers, vacationers, and stressed-out city dwellers find recovery and relaxation as well as time and room for dreams in this paradisiacal place.


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